Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh: Picking up where Scalia left off?

Today, the confirmation hearings for the next Supreme Court Justice begin in D.C., where Judge Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee, may be confirmed to the Supreme Court for a lifetime appointment—a decision that will have an impact for decades.

But what kind of Justice will Brett Kavanaugh be? His record has still largely not been made public, itself a concerning factor during this nomination process. Instead, advocates must look to his public statements and endorsements to get a sense of his political views. And they’re not looking good.

Judge Kavanaugh has described the notoriously homophobic Justice Antonin Scalia, as a “hero” and a “judicial role model,” and praised his dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges —the landmark ruling that made same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states. Throughout his career, Justice Scalia spoke extensively about his hostility towards LGBTQ people, and was unwavering in his comparison of homosexuality to murder. In his dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, Scalia argued that the legalization of marriage equality was a “threat to American democracy” that “robs the People of... the freedom to govern themselves.” What did Judge Kavanaugh think of that?

He praised Scalia’s dissent.

GLAAD has sent to media background information on Scalia's "worst hits", which are included below. A role model? They're not the kind of American values we'd expect an incoming Supreme Court Justice to support.

Furthermore, while serving in the George W. Bush administration, Kavanaugh worked closely with the team that pushed for the so-called Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have defined marriage in the United States as a union of one man and one woman under federal law. He’s also received support and endorsements from the Family Research Council (FRC), which has been designated an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center; and the Federalist Society, which has produced materials arguing against every major LGBTQ policy proposal, including the Employment Non Discrimination Act and transgender accommodations.

Kavanaugh was also vetted, and is considered to be a “stellar” judge, by  the virulently anti-LGBTQ Heritage Foundation, which has claimed that marriage equality would make people less monogamous, increase abortions, and eventually lead to “group marriage,” and consistently opposes transgender rights.   

President Trump’s concerning selection of Brett Kavanaugh, and his record of appointing anti-LGBTQ federal judges, has put hard won LGBTQ rights and protections in jeopardy. In response, GLAAD Campus Ambassador Tony Hernandez went to Capitol Hill to personally hand-deliver questions about Judge Kavanaugh’s past remarks and endorsements, and ask the 21 members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to confront Judge Kavanaugh with these questions during the confirmation hearing process.

GLAAD is encouraging people to contact their Senators and ask them to support pro-equality judicial nominations and oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation at our Amp Your Voice Action Center.

Read more about Justice Scalia’s Appalling Anti-LGBTQ Record:

— Dissenting in a 1996 ruling in favor of state’s rights to ban LGB discrimination, Scalia equated gay rights with heinous acts, writing that he “had thought that one could consider certain conduct reprehensible — murder, for example, or polygamy, or cruelty to animals — and could exhibit even 'animus' toward such conduct"

Defended his comparison of homosexuality to murder: “It's a form of argument that I thought you would have known, which is called the 'reduction to the absurd. If we cannot have moral feelings against homosexuality, can we have it against murder? Can we have it against other things?”

Dismissed court protections of gay rights by sarcastically asking, “What about pederasts?”...“What about child abusers?”

Didn’t believe gay sex was protected by constitutional right to privacy: "Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state”

Warned in his 2003 Lawrence v. Texas dissent that decriminalizing sodomy would lead to legalizing bestiality, incest, and more: “State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding.”

Called the Supreme Court’s 2015 legalization of marriage equality a “threat to American democracy” that “robs the People of... the freedom to govern themselves.”

Wrote in his Lawrence dissent: “Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children’s schools, or as boarders in their home. They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive.”

— Also in Lawrence, he noted that the ban on sodomy “undoubtedly imposes constraints on liberty,” before defending that ban by saying, “So do laws prohibiting prostitution, recreational use of heroin, and, for that matter, working more than 60 hours per week in a bakery.”

Wrote of bans on gay sex: “Men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, are all subject to [Texas’] prohibition of deviate sexual intercourse with someone of the same sex.”

Incorrectly claimed that sociologists are engaged in great debate about the legitimacy of gay parents: “If you redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, you must permit adoption by same-sex couples, and there’s considerable disagreement among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a single-sex family [are]. Some States do not do not permit adoption by same-sex couples for that reason.”

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